As we move into the third decade of the 21st-century, it is more apparent, perhaps than ever before, the immense need to sanitize and decontaminate places where people gather. The goal moving forward must be to prevent the spread of bacteria and viruses like coronavirus. Every day, we are reminded of how easy it is to spread germs and pathogens, person to person. Maintaining clean, sanitary homes, workplaces, and public places will be a universal requirement going forward.
A thorough, regular cleaning regimen with the addition of spray cleaners, quarterly heat treatments, and a monthly or quarterly disinfectant bomb will keep a home clean of bacteria and viruses, giving residents a safe, clean place to live.
What about nursing homes, assisted living homes, hospitals, schools, residential rehabilitation centers, penal centers, college dormitories, and other institutions where large numbers of people live or gather? What sanitation and disinfection methods and techniques are available to someone who owns or manages a large facility?
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We have covered the topic of High Heat Treatments on various pages on the website due to its extreme effectiveness. In case you are entering the site via this page, we discuss it again here. For more information see also “High Heat Treatment.”
The key to proper sanitation is to be thorough. To safely decontaminate an environment, the entire environment must be treated. Even just missing one small spot could allow for viruses, bacteria, and other pathogens to survive and continue to pose a risk in that environment. That's why high heat treatments are one of the most effective means of purifying a room or confined space of all unwanted contaminants.
It’s easy to forget that viruses are living organisms, of a sort. And like any other living thing, viruses can only survive in a specific temperature range. If viral clusters are subjected to a temperature of about 130F° to 180F°, the microorganisms will cease to maintain their core structure, rendering them utterly incapable of infecting humans and other lifeforms. With high heat treatments, technicians use commercial-grade heaters to heat each room in a home or building to temperatures of 160F° to 190F° for several hours at a time, effectively eradicating all harmful bacteria, viruses, insects, pathogens, germs, and other unwanted organisms in the room.
Liquid virucide is perhaps the most straightforward approach to disinfecting a building. However, liquid virucide is only applicable in the places where technicians can physically reach with their spray equipment. Virucide and other liquid-based sanitizers are useful for decontaminating surfaces that receive a lot of human contact. The critical surfaces to treat with liquid products are:
The goal here is to spray disinfectant on anything in a facility which receives a great deal of human contact, I.e., items or objects that are frequently touched.
Disinfecting foggers come in all types and sizes, from truck-mounted foggers to hand-held foggers, vital oxide foggers, Lysol foggers, sanitizing foggers, etc. Some companies will sell a disinfecting fogger for home use, and others will provide sanitizing fogger machines for commercial use. The crucial datum here is that any such unit will have its uses and benefits.
For disinfecting a large facility, most experts recommend commercial-strength fogging units and vital oxide foggers, as such fogging equipment is more capable of treating large areas. Another benefit of using fogging devices is that such devices can reach high ceilings and large rooms where hand-held spray devices would be ineffective. For example, a disinfectant fogger machine can treat indoor gymnasiums, auditoriums, antechambers, open-to-the-ceiling rooms, indoor sports buildings, etc.
Electrostatic misting is defined as a cleaning process of spraying an electrically charged sanitizing mist into an environment. Because the mist is so charged, it is prone to stick to objects and even to envelop objects, even if the mist is only sprayed on one section of an object. That allows for a thorough coating of objects. For example, commercial cleaning crews use electrostatic misting machines to clean rooms with a lot of clutter or furniture, because the mist travels behind objects and effectively coats all of the objects and surfaces in the room.
Electrostatic misting systems are often used in conjunction with fogging machines, disinfecting bombs, and bio-spray disinfecting devices, all to decontaminate any space, no matter how large. Even high-germ traffic spaces like locker rooms, public bathrooms, large, commercial kitchens, and other such environments can be safely decontaminated with such a process.
The above sanitizing and decontaminating methods that we've talked about so far are necessary to achieve a hospital sterilization level of cleanliness and safety. And keep in mind that hospital decontamination should be the goal of any large facility. That means such facilities must implement regimens and protocols in their buildings to achieve the same level of sanitation found in healthcare facilities across America.
With that being said, much of the safety and cleanliness of a facility can be maintained by regular cleaning, frequent decontamination, and implementing safety protocols among residents, employees, students, etc. For example, ensuring that there are hand washing stations and hand sanitizer stations placed in all the high-use spaces of a building (and demanding that residents use such stations) can go a long way in preventing infection.
We’ve learned from the coronavirus pandemic that every large facility in America should have hospital sterilization equipment and a sanitation regimen comparable to hospital decontamination protocol.